Dorset Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner have launched a new cyber-crime prevention campaign. Named CyberSafe, it will focus on financial based crime, child online safety, social networking safety and online fraud and property crime.
The threat from cyber-crime is a rapidly growing problem for policing and is a priority here in Dorset and nationally.
The campaign will run over the next 12 months and link into the national campaign ‘Get Safe Online’.
To tackle this growing phenomenon Dorset Police has created a Cyber-Crime Unit which is focused on ensuring that the force provides a quality response to all forms of online crime in our communities.
The unit will be working in conjunction with regional and national units to ensure that they remain skilled and equipped to face the challenge of fighting crime in cyberspace.
Police are also working in conjunction with representatives from the Bournemouth University Cyber Security Unit (BUCSU) and Get Safe Online.
Director of Intelligence, Detective Superintendent Mark Callaghan, said: “Cyber-crime is a fast growing area of crime. More and more criminals are exploiting the speed, convenience and facelessness of the internet to commit a diverse range of criminal activities.
“There are many opportunities offered by the internet, particularly the growth in online shopping and banking, which make us vulnerable to crime.
“Online safety shouldn’t be taken for granted or assumed. The internet is now a fact of modern life for most of us. It is expected that online activity has caught the attention of a few determined criminals, but it is up to us to ensure we keep ourselves and our information safe when using the internet.
“This is one of the big revolutions in 21st Century policing and we are working hard to step up to the challenge.”
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, Martyn Underhill, said: “Cyber-crime has the potential to affect every household in Dorset. Our young people are at increased risk of cyber-bullying, an awful crime which has far reaching effects.
“We have also seen an increase in the risks to the older population as they embrace new technology to enable them to carry out financial transactions online and keep in touch with loved ones. It is essential that we prioritise tackling this new and growing threat which exists not on our streets but in cyberspace.
“I am delighted to be working with Bournemouth University in finding approaches to cyber-crime, and I congratulate them on their forward thinking.
“I look forward to building on that relationship as we develop a joint approach to raising awareness of cyber-crime and finding solutions to this fast emerging threat.”
Doctor Christopher Richardson, Head of Bournemouth University Cyber Security Unit said: “Cyber is pervasive to our digital society; it controls and connects our services, drives the economy, banks our money, sells our goods and pays our bills.
“With the benefits of the world-wide web and other online opportunities generating so much wealth, cyberspace also attracts undesirable consequences and individuals with malicious intent.
“The Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner’s new initiative to help police and reduce this global crime wave and its impact to our local economy is warmly welcomed by Bournemouth University and its Cyber Security Unit.
“Cyber security is a national threat and our education programme is equipping the future security practitioners for a market, which has an increasing shortage of skilled individuals. The cyber-crime wave and its growth is greatly affected by this skills gap and the limited amount of resources committed to solving the problems it creates.
“Dorset Police has started to readdress this and we wish them well.”